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Hunting With a 100-Year-Old Parker Double

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July 12, 2011

Hunting With a 100-Year-Old Parker Double

By Phil Bourjaily


http://ak.c.ooyala.com/Q4ZXEwYzpBGZRjntK7ZCC6Q3CN_O5Fon/Ut_HKthATH4eww8X4xMDoxOjA4MTsiGN

This clip from this Wednesday’s episode of the Gun Nuts TV show (Outdoor Channel) shows me having the privilege of taking a 100-year old 12 gauge Parker VH for a spin at a preserve for one of our “50 Best Guns Ever Made” segments. Sometime during the gun’s life it was returned to Remington for service and some restoration work. The gun’s owner had never fired it, so who knows when this gun last went into the field. As you see, it still works. Although I know guns don’t feel anything, it still feels as if you are doing something right when you get an old safe queen out for some fresh air and gunsmoke.

Although this Parker has 2 ¾-inch chambers I shot low-pressure 2 ½ inch RST (rstshells.com) to take it easy on the old gun. RST, by the way, is the place to shop if you have an old gun with shorter chambers or one that needs to be pampered with low-pressure ammo. Their offerings include light loads of lead and also of tungsten Nice Shot, which is barrel friendly and approved for waterfowl although it does cost $3 per shell like any other tungsten ammo.

A couple of things about the video: yes, the birds shot off-camera were killed in the air. In both cases, though, as often happens with pheasants if you don’t break a wing, they absorbed fatal hits, flew on, then crashed.

Also, if you look closely, you will see the Parker magically turn into a Fox Sterlingworth for an instant, then turn back into itself. That glitch has been edited out of the version that airs Wednesday evening on the Outdoor Channel.

Comments (28)

Top Rated
All Comments
from Beekeeper wrote 2 years 40 weeks ago

Nice old shotgun Phil. My Grandfather carried a Sterlingworth that mysteriously disappeared upon his death. I'd love to have that gun.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from FirstBubba wrote 2 years 40 weeks ago

I possess a 16 ga L.C. Smith handed down to me by a great uncle. No Parker by any means, but still a very nice old piece. A bit loose in the breech, hasn't been shot in years! What a joy! To just pick it up, mount and swing it floods my mind with squirrel, quail and duck hunts.

Bubba

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Clay Cooper wrote 2 years 40 weeks ago

To bad Sir Phil that Ol'Man (shotgun) can't talk, the stories it would tell!

Last season while pulling out my 03-A3, a rush of memories and feelings of hunting with my Father came over me.

Those were the days!

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Greenhead wrote 2 years 40 weeks ago

Forgive my ignorance, but why would a Parker be returned to Remington? Is there a connection there I don't know about?

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from philbourjaily wrote 2 years 40 weeks ago

Greenhead -- I forgot to write "Remington, which bought Parker in 1934" Sorry.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Armchair Mike wrote 2 years 40 weeks ago

Style points for the leg o' mutton case.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jere Smith wrote 2 years 40 weeks ago

I just purchased a Remington 32 made in 1934, (verified by customer service, on scratches or dings anywhere. :-)

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Greenhead wrote 2 years 40 weeks ago

Thank you for the clarification, Mr. Bourjaily. I didn't know that.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from 99explorer wrote 2 years 40 weeks ago

I think some Parker reproductions were made in Japan a while back, but suddenly discontinued because the manufacturer received a big order for automobile parts.
They were said to be of higher quality than the originals.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ralph the Rifleman wrote 2 years 40 weeks ago

A Family Friend of ours had a set of Parkers which I had the pleasure of using thru my younger years. Once he passed away,back in 2003, the guns went into hiding with his sons. I sure miss my friend, and I do hope his boys are taking care of those Parkers!

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from dickgun wrote 2 years 40 weeks ago

As a kid on the farm in west-central MN, my first 'real gun' was an L. C. Smith, 12 ga SS with 32" bbls and full choked on both sides. It came from one of my uncles. I shot it a lot in my mid-late teens and on til I left for Alaska in 1959. Shotgunning in AK was not a big thing for me and at any rate that gun was not the gun to drag around in the bush. So it sat for a long time. It was in excellent condition, a field grade, but the two full chokes limited its use. I began to wish I could shoot it again and since I was in the process of setting up a hunt for geese in Iceland I brought it front and center to consider. After consulting some of the shotgun gurus I knew, I finally decided to have Briley's install thin-wall chokes so it would be more versatile. I was told this would not seriously detract from 'old timer' value????
Anyway, I shot graylag and pinkfoot geese in Iceland for three days with the old girl and it brought back fond memories (old girls?) of my early shooting days. It performed beautifully with standard lead shot loads (legal in Iceland) (no limit on geese either) using full and modified chokes.
Love the old guns, alright. Thanks for reminding us Phil.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from WA Mtnhunter wrote 2 years 40 weeks ago

How'd you hack the Gun IQ Contest? 50 of 50 in 2 min 22 seconds?

Some of the questions took longer than that to load!

Hey Phil, you boys have been had on the Gun IQ contest!

LOL!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from shane wrote 2 years 40 weeks ago

Nice gun. Going by your choice of words in the video, it seems you disagree with the Parker being #1. Are you a Fox guy? I am.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from shane wrote 2 years 40 weeks ago

Where are you guys seeing the scores for the quiz? I can't find them anywhere.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from duckcreekdick wrote 2 years 40 weeks ago

Looks like the dog work was first-rate!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from dasmith wrote 2 years 40 weeks ago

Anytime you can hunt with a gun that has a history whether it just has the age or if it had a famous owner or family member, it makes the hunt special.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from white bison wrote 2 years 40 weeks ago

I hunt with a 1901 Syracuse Arms 16 gauge double (110 yrs
old), a Hollenbeck Drilling 1905 vintage (106 yrs. old),
and an Ansley Fox 1916 double (95 yrs old). Also, used to
have a Lefever 1905 gun. No problem shooting the old guns if they are sound and chambers long for modern shells.
Best Regards,
Tom

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from fishdog52 wrote 2 years 40 weeks ago

Had the opportunity to hunt for deer with completely original Burnside over a 3 year period. Shot only one deer as I was being pretty conservative with it. Believe I did a lot of day dreaming while out with it. Does somehow feed the imagination as well as teach a lot about the evolution of firearms & ballistics.
When is the last time you heard of someone hunting with a 50 or 60 gr charge of blackpowder?
The owner has since passed on and the gun now out of reach.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from fishdog52 wrote 2 years 40 weeks ago

Had the opportunity to hunt for deer with completely original Burnside over a 3 year period. Shot only one deer as I was being pretty conservative with it. Believe I did a lot of day dreaming while out with it. Does somehow feed the imagination as well as teach a lot about the evolution of firearms & ballistics.
When is the last time you heard of someone hunting with a 50 or 60 gr charge of blackpowder?
The owner has since passed on and the gun now out of reach.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from labrador12 wrote 2 years 40 weeks ago

I'm still hunting with my grandfather's Model 12 that he bought used in the 1920's. It's still deadly.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from TED FORD wrote 2 years 40 weeks ago

You ol' boys ought to get your hands on a copy of Nash Buckingham's poem,"My Daddy's Gun".

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Drew McClure wrote 2 years 39 weeks ago

The pheasants didn't seem to enjoy the Ol' Parker nearly as much as you. Is it me, or are Eddie Nicken pieces becoming the cream of F&S? The show is progressing well the format flows better, than the first season. Now it is time to take on field torture test, the best 2011 shotguns take on Argentina dove!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from FirstBubba wrote 2 years 39 weeks ago

AJ,
Of the folks I've spoken to about going to Argentina, not one took a gun. The guides/outfitters provide both guns and ammo. You rent the gun and purchase the ammo and the cost is well worth not going through the hassel of importing/exporting your own arms and ammo. Last fellow I knew that went down there, shot up 9 cases of ammo in 3 days. Killed almost as many parakeets as he did dove. He told me, after one day of "shooting" (it AIN'T huntin'!) he was ready to return home.

Bubba

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Drew McClure wrote 2 years 39 weeks ago

Of all the shotgun shooting wisdom and advice that I have read, or been told (some that I didn't even ask for) no teacher nor tip was as effective as one quick pass of the early season teal. After my reactions quicken to the flash of emerald wings and I pounded one I was surprised to find after 10 minutes of plucking, that my trophy was 2 ounces of meat with 60, or so hard to fingernail pin feathers still in the skin, what a tasty hard earned morsel. After this turkey season I could use a "shoot." Americans want shotguns that can endure the wing shooting that they can only legally enjoy in other countries.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from AZDEERHUNTER wrote 2 years 39 weeks ago

My dad owns an 1875 12 ga. Parker shotgun. He takes it duck hunting every year with me. It still fires like the day ole grannpy Morse bought it in 1875.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from RES1956 wrote 2 years 39 weeks ago

You Have to love the nostalgia involved while hunting with an old vintage shotgun,,,

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from jamesti wrote 2 years 39 weeks ago

my girlfriend's father has an old parker like that one that i really want to check out more closely!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from bertram wrote 2 years 39 weeks ago

My aunt called me not long after my uncle and hunting partner died. Not having a clue what was up. I went over and she said that Uncle Ray told her to give me something. She directed me to go in his room and get the Parker that had been his Fathers and the one I had shot so often over time.
It is a single shot trap modle that I could shoot fairly well, and can never part with. Many people just don't have any idea what such a jesture means to us "gun nuts". I don't know how to explain my feelings about this old competitor (1917). But apology isn't any part of it.
A toast to Uncle "here's to us and those like us,there's damn few left"

+1 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment

from white bison wrote 2 years 40 weeks ago

I hunt with a 1901 Syracuse Arms 16 gauge double (110 yrs
old), a Hollenbeck Drilling 1905 vintage (106 yrs. old),
and an Ansley Fox 1916 double (95 yrs old). Also, used to
have a Lefever 1905 gun. No problem shooting the old guns if they are sound and chambers long for modern shells.
Best Regards,
Tom

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from FirstBubba wrote 2 years 40 weeks ago

I possess a 16 ga L.C. Smith handed down to me by a great uncle. No Parker by any means, but still a very nice old piece. A bit loose in the breech, hasn't been shot in years! What a joy! To just pick it up, mount and swing it floods my mind with squirrel, quail and duck hunts.

Bubba

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Clay Cooper wrote 2 years 40 weeks ago

To bad Sir Phil that Ol'Man (shotgun) can't talk, the stories it would tell!

Last season while pulling out my 03-A3, a rush of memories and feelings of hunting with my Father came over me.

Those were the days!

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ralph the Rifleman wrote 2 years 40 weeks ago

A Family Friend of ours had a set of Parkers which I had the pleasure of using thru my younger years. Once he passed away,back in 2003, the guns went into hiding with his sons. I sure miss my friend, and I do hope his boys are taking care of those Parkers!

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from dickgun wrote 2 years 40 weeks ago

As a kid on the farm in west-central MN, my first 'real gun' was an L. C. Smith, 12 ga SS with 32" bbls and full choked on both sides. It came from one of my uncles. I shot it a lot in my mid-late teens and on til I left for Alaska in 1959. Shotgunning in AK was not a big thing for me and at any rate that gun was not the gun to drag around in the bush. So it sat for a long time. It was in excellent condition, a field grade, but the two full chokes limited its use. I began to wish I could shoot it again and since I was in the process of setting up a hunt for geese in Iceland I brought it front and center to consider. After consulting some of the shotgun gurus I knew, I finally decided to have Briley's install thin-wall chokes so it would be more versatile. I was told this would not seriously detract from 'old timer' value????
Anyway, I shot graylag and pinkfoot geese in Iceland for three days with the old girl and it brought back fond memories (old girls?) of my early shooting days. It performed beautifully with standard lead shot loads (legal in Iceland) (no limit on geese either) using full and modified chokes.
Love the old guns, alright. Thanks for reminding us Phil.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from dasmith wrote 2 years 40 weeks ago

Anytime you can hunt with a gun that has a history whether it just has the age or if it had a famous owner or family member, it makes the hunt special.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Beekeeper wrote 2 years 40 weeks ago

Nice old shotgun Phil. My Grandfather carried a Sterlingworth that mysteriously disappeared upon his death. I'd love to have that gun.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Greenhead wrote 2 years 40 weeks ago

Forgive my ignorance, but why would a Parker be returned to Remington? Is there a connection there I don't know about?

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from philbourjaily wrote 2 years 40 weeks ago

Greenhead -- I forgot to write "Remington, which bought Parker in 1934" Sorry.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Armchair Mike wrote 2 years 40 weeks ago

Style points for the leg o' mutton case.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Greenhead wrote 2 years 40 weeks ago

Thank you for the clarification, Mr. Bourjaily. I didn't know that.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from 99explorer wrote 2 years 40 weeks ago

I think some Parker reproductions were made in Japan a while back, but suddenly discontinued because the manufacturer received a big order for automobile parts.
They were said to be of higher quality than the originals.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from shane wrote 2 years 40 weeks ago

Nice gun. Going by your choice of words in the video, it seems you disagree with the Parker being #1. Are you a Fox guy? I am.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from shane wrote 2 years 40 weeks ago

Where are you guys seeing the scores for the quiz? I can't find them anywhere.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from duckcreekdick wrote 2 years 40 weeks ago

Looks like the dog work was first-rate!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from fishdog52 wrote 2 years 40 weeks ago

Had the opportunity to hunt for deer with completely original Burnside over a 3 year period. Shot only one deer as I was being pretty conservative with it. Believe I did a lot of day dreaming while out with it. Does somehow feed the imagination as well as teach a lot about the evolution of firearms & ballistics.
When is the last time you heard of someone hunting with a 50 or 60 gr charge of blackpowder?
The owner has since passed on and the gun now out of reach.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from labrador12 wrote 2 years 40 weeks ago

I'm still hunting with my grandfather's Model 12 that he bought used in the 1920's. It's still deadly.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from TED FORD wrote 2 years 40 weeks ago

You ol' boys ought to get your hands on a copy of Nash Buckingham's poem,"My Daddy's Gun".

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from jamesti wrote 2 years 39 weeks ago

my girlfriend's father has an old parker like that one that i really want to check out more closely!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from bertram wrote 2 years 39 weeks ago

My aunt called me not long after my uncle and hunting partner died. Not having a clue what was up. I went over and she said that Uncle Ray told her to give me something. She directed me to go in his room and get the Parker that had been his Fathers and the one I had shot so often over time.
It is a single shot trap modle that I could shoot fairly well, and can never part with. Many people just don't have any idea what such a jesture means to us "gun nuts". I don't know how to explain my feelings about this old competitor (1917). But apology isn't any part of it.
A toast to Uncle "here's to us and those like us,there's damn few left"

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jere Smith wrote 2 years 40 weeks ago

I just purchased a Remington 32 made in 1934, (verified by customer service, on scratches or dings anywhere. :-)

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from WA Mtnhunter wrote 2 years 40 weeks ago

How'd you hack the Gun IQ Contest? 50 of 50 in 2 min 22 seconds?

Some of the questions took longer than that to load!

Hey Phil, you boys have been had on the Gun IQ contest!

LOL!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from fishdog52 wrote 2 years 40 weeks ago

Had the opportunity to hunt for deer with completely original Burnside over a 3 year period. Shot only one deer as I was being pretty conservative with it. Believe I did a lot of day dreaming while out with it. Does somehow feed the imagination as well as teach a lot about the evolution of firearms & ballistics.
When is the last time you heard of someone hunting with a 50 or 60 gr charge of blackpowder?
The owner has since passed on and the gun now out of reach.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Drew McClure wrote 2 years 39 weeks ago

The pheasants didn't seem to enjoy the Ol' Parker nearly as much as you. Is it me, or are Eddie Nicken pieces becoming the cream of F&S? The show is progressing well the format flows better, than the first season. Now it is time to take on field torture test, the best 2011 shotguns take on Argentina dove!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from FirstBubba wrote 2 years 39 weeks ago

AJ,
Of the folks I've spoken to about going to Argentina, not one took a gun. The guides/outfitters provide both guns and ammo. You rent the gun and purchase the ammo and the cost is well worth not going through the hassel of importing/exporting your own arms and ammo. Last fellow I knew that went down there, shot up 9 cases of ammo in 3 days. Killed almost as many parakeets as he did dove. He told me, after one day of "shooting" (it AIN'T huntin'!) he was ready to return home.

Bubba

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Drew McClure wrote 2 years 39 weeks ago

Of all the shotgun shooting wisdom and advice that I have read, or been told (some that I didn't even ask for) no teacher nor tip was as effective as one quick pass of the early season teal. After my reactions quicken to the flash of emerald wings and I pounded one I was surprised to find after 10 minutes of plucking, that my trophy was 2 ounces of meat with 60, or so hard to fingernail pin feathers still in the skin, what a tasty hard earned morsel. After this turkey season I could use a "shoot." Americans want shotguns that can endure the wing shooting that they can only legally enjoy in other countries.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from AZDEERHUNTER wrote 2 years 39 weeks ago

My dad owns an 1875 12 ga. Parker shotgun. He takes it duck hunting every year with me. It still fires like the day ole grannpy Morse bought it in 1875.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from RES1956 wrote 2 years 39 weeks ago

You Have to love the nostalgia involved while hunting with an old vintage shotgun,,,

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment